Helios Solar Operations & Maintenance

Following my purchase of the Emazys Z200, I’d like to explain why I have purchased it.
Initially, I had been made aware of the fault-finding capabilities by James Hoare, who has used the Emazys Z200 for a couple of years now.
I was drawn to it due to my work within the UK solar industry and the more common occurrences of rooftop fires caused by faulty/badly installed DC connectors.
Insurance companies are starting to explore how to minimise their risk from PV related fires which has resulted in my development, together with James Hoare, the MCS & Fire Protection Association, of the UK’s first Joint Code of Practice between the UK Solar & Insurance industries, that’s due for publication in November and will be launched this year at the Solar & Storage Live 2021 event at the NEC.

Connectors are becoming a real issue

Pretty much every other system that Helios are inspecting has connectors that are either mismatched, poorly crimped or not torqued correctly, resulting in water ingress and connector failure (see attached).

I carried out testing and inspection services on a variety of rooftop PV systems (100 kWp +) together with my usual PV electrician who was using his trusted Seaward PV 150. He was getting readings in about 20 seconds for each string, I was having to wait around 90 seconds for each string.

So he wasn’t too enamoured by the time it took to take a reading and I was slightly led by my PV electrician’s experience of it. I wasn’t overly impressed. That is until I looked closer at the data that I had been able to obtain from the Emazys. There it was, right in front of me. Position of RISO – 1. Fault Found.

That would have taken me ages to locate physically. Same thing for many other strings. The data backed up what I’d seen on the roofs and allowed me to make an accurate recommendation for remedial works to my client.

Leads to more business

I soon after had a call from a potential client who had a PV system installed by M3 Solutions in December 2015 – pre-Feed-in-Tariff digression when a lot of PV systems were installed very quickly, by not very accomplished installers (i.e. roofers who didn’t have correct experience or crimping equipment) – these hastily installed systems are proving to be a bit of a dangerous legacy.

This client’s system was displaying all the tell-tale signs of DC connector failure, and I had the Emazys ready to go. The system size was over 700kWp and I was the only company able to identify, from ground level, where exactly the faults were occurring, thereby being able to offer a much lower price of success to the client.

Helios were awarded the contract.

So the Emazys Z200 has helped me to:

  • secure additional business
  • provide my clients with confidence in our abilities
  • given me a greater awareness of fault recognition and finding
  • reduced the amount of time taken to locate faults
  • provided me with a high level of data
  • enabled me to discuss with insurers a new way of fault finding

So, is it worth spending the extra time doing the string testing and spending the extra money to obtain an Emazys Z200?

Helios Solar Operations & Maintenance certainly think so.